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Man Utd target Declan Rice ignoring transfer speculation as Red Devils plot bid


England international Declan Rice has said he is happy to stay at West Ham despite rumours of a big-money transfer to Old Trafford.

The 20-year-old has enjoyed a remarkable rise, converting himself from a centre-back into a holding midfielder under the tutelage of ex-Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini.

Rice is a full England international and has been integral to West Ham’s excellent start to the season.

The Hammers currently sit just two points off the top four and Rice’s performances for the side were bound to attract interest from elsewhere.

Manchester United have been heavily linked with the former Chelsea youth player, with the Mirror reporting that the Red Devils could offer £70m to secure his services.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are in desperate need of a new defensive midfielder to shield their defence and allow a player like Paul Pogba more attacking freedom.

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Nemanja Matic has been United’s go-to in the role ever since his 2017 move from Chelsea, but the Serbian’s performances at Old Trafford have not quite matched the levels he showed for the Blues.

Recent reports have suggested Matic could leave Manchester for Inter Milan, in a move which could pave the way for Rice to join the club.

However, the England star was quick to play down any transfer speculation and suggested he is keen to stay put.

“I signed a five year contract with West Ham last year, which will keep me at club till I’m 24, and for me this is the best place to be right now,” Rice said.

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West Ham’s Declan Rice is being targeted by Manchester United

“I am playing for a manager who has given me my chance and played me week in week out.

“I’m improving every week and although I see all this speculation, I don’t really think about it too much.

“It’s all talk until something happens – and nothing has – so I’m just focussed on West Ham, doing my best and making fans happy.”

It could be a busy January transfer window for United, who are set to target a forward as well as a midfielder like Rice.

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The Red Devils have been lacking in firepower after letting Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez join Inter Milan.

Solskjaer has been heavily linked with a move for Juventus striker Mario Mandzukic and has admitted a new attacker is a priority.

“We let Alexis and Romelu go, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see that it’s a forward that next time we’re going to recruit – we’re looking for some creativity and goals,” Solskjaer recently said.

“There were strikers but they weren’t the ones we wanted. If we had the right one, we would have.”



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